One of Tohoku’s finest and largest kominka’s from the late Edo Period, Kyu-Honokidate Residence, will soon be listed as an important cultural property. The main house and traditional storehouse sit on an 10,000 sqm block of land in Ichinohe Town, Iwate Prefecture.
The thatched-roof house has a total interior size of 490 sqm (5272 sqft) and was constructed in 1862. It was the home of a very wealthy farmer who owned extensive forestry and farmland. A total of 20 family members and servants were thought to have lived in the house at one time. The large dirt floor (doma) area on one side of the house was used as a workshop as well as a barn for horses and cattle.
The house was occupied up until the 1980s. In 1990 it was designated as a tangible cultural property in Iwate Prefecture and in 1992 it was donated to Ichinohe Town. The house is open to the public.
Including Kyu-Honokidate, 25 important cultural properties including one national treasure are listed in Iwate Prefecture.
The Mainichi Shimbun, October 22, 2011.